Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold' and cane borers

Ruth_MI(z5MI)April 26, 2011

I had a Sambucus 'Sutherland Gold' for five years or so and loved it...except for the occasional dieback of a branch. This became more frequent until early last year when it barely came back in spring, and most of the branches then wilted and died.

I cut all the brances to near the ground, and in the center/bottom of those branches found the ugly whitish culprits - cane borers from what I've been able to find out. The plant was beyond saving.

I really miss that Sambucus and would like to get another one. I'm having a hard time finding information on treating this, except on roses, where apparently there can be a different type of cane borer. If it's not treatable, I'm not going to waste my money. Enough people post about mysteriously losing these Sambucus, that I have to believe it might be a fairly widespread problem.

Does anyone have any experience with treating cane borers in a shrub like a Sambucus?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

hey ruth.. i am down here in adrian mi ...

its awful early to start thinking that anything is dead.. especially being how cold its been ... so i would wait and see if it sprouts back from the ground ...

now.. do you eat the berries.. or is this just for show ...

there are systemic remedies for borer ...

link below to a multitude of information on borers in elderberry ..

good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:28PM
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Hi Ken - To start OT, I work in Tipton one day a week, so not too far from Adrian (but an hour from home). Any really good nurseries out that way I should visit for either unusual plants, great prices, or very well-rooted clematis? :)

The Sambucus died early last year...didn't give up on it but it never came back. I wouldn't eat the fruit, so was contemplating trying a systemic. Everything I've read talks about the borer not being a huge deal and just cutting back the branches. Maybe if I'd known originally it was a borer, and had been more agressive/timely in pruning wilted branches, that would have worked.

I bought Bayer Advanced for my magnolia scale, and it lists some borers as insects it controls. So I'll probably replace my Sambucus and try that, but would love to know if anyone has had success with anything.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:44PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i am 12 minutes from hidden lakes ... the ONLY thing with a tipton address .. lol ...

do you volunteer there with a group??? do you know barb my neighbor???

i was going to recommend the bayer ... but then i wondered about berries and birds.. and all that ...

if i did such.. i might clip off all the flowers before berries for the first season ... just in case there was some residual ... i would also call bayer [as i have done before] and discuss the application with them ...

you might want to ask steve or jerry at HL what they might think about the problem ...

barretts in adrian is the high end nursery .. but nothing out of the ordinary .. if you want hosta.. might want to go onto hallsons, but that would put you another 30 mins further from home ... check out the link


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:41PM
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No, I don't volunteer there, and don't know Barb...sorry :)

thanks for the info and the link!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 6:11PM
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I had a sambucus Sutherland Gold for two years and really enjoyed it.
When it died, I found that the base just below the soil line had been chewed during the winter by voles. I don't know why it is favored by the voles because my nearby common (American elderberry) was not touched and is still going strong.

I hope this might explain some of the dieback and eventual death of the Sutherland variety.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 2:02AM
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